CAD software

OK-since I am still using lt ’98 and looked into Acad 2011 Lt and found that I cannot activate it. I have Draftsight which is a free CAD that looks like 2010, does not seem to be very quick.
Does anyone know anything about Revit lt? Colleagues are telling me to switch, but not sure the difference in the full veresion and lt. I am thinking I need to break down and get AutoCad 2013 lt, but wonder if I should try the big jump.

3 thoughts on “CAD software

  1. Hi Craig,
    I was actually in the Revit LT Beta testing group last year. They called it “Spark.” Some of the features were excellent, like its very intelligent and intuitive auto-dimensioning features. All CAD and 3D programs should do it this way.
    However, other things confused the heck out of me, even though I had the responsive chat assistance of AutoDesk’s programmers for Revit LT (Spark) advising me. For instance: it is a major intellectual hurdle to figure out how to number and name a drawing sheet. Something that we don’t even think about in 2D. But when you have a big database program (which is what Revit is), everything is connected to everything else. Try to number a drawing sheet in Revit LT or Revit and you’ll see what I’m talking about. There is a back & forth and back & forth series of steps that befuddle me to this day. I still use AutoCad 2000i and will continue doing so until I purchase a new 64 bit computer (perhaps later this year). I will keep my 32 bit computer, along with all my old software (including AutoCad 2000) fully functioning, immediately next to the new computer. I will get AutoCad 2013 LT and learn it and will have my old computer sitting there, running, waiting for me, if I need to use it to get out of a jam. Hopefully, the transition from 2000i to 2013 LT will not be horrible. I really don’t know. If the hot keys work; that should help a lot. Not sure about setting everything up again, with plot style tables and such and how that works from the old machine to the new one. Perhaps I just e-mail that file to myself from the old computer to the new one, then I install it?
    I happen to be viewing Revit 2013 Tutorials on YouTube right now! So far, I haven’t seen anything terrible, but I have talked with other Architects who have told me that switching to Revit from AutoCad nearly bankupted their firm, because there was so much to learn. Once any firm has adopted Revit and KNOWS how to run it, in all its detail, they seem to like it. But getting to that level of ability is the tough part. ALL firms that I have spoken to who have fully adopted Revit have all had a Revit guru in house: a partner or a Cad tech, or some full time person in house, who can teach everyone else. I am more than a little concerned that I could spend $1,500 for Revit LT or nearly $6,000 for full blown Revit and end up with a big mess on my hands that wastes my time and kills my ability to get income producing work accomplished. I am going to upgrade my AutoCad 2D so I can upgrade to a powerful new 64 bit computer, and will continue to study and learn about Revit, but hold back on buying it, until I have learned enough to actually use it on a project.
    All this ignores the fact that I have downloaded and installed trial versions of Chief Architect, SoftPlan and Envisioneer. I have found that they are also complex and quickly run into walls with them as to how to do anything but the most mundane of design concepts. Those programs seem unable to accomplish multiple roof edge faciae, timber trusses and beams, curved timber arches, bracing and bracketry and similar such items that are part of my architectural vocabulary, which is why I am once again studying Revit. I do NOT know what is best for what you and I do at this time. Does anyone else?

  2. This is what I have heard – a long process to master and as a one man office may be difficult. What about ArchiCAD? I took a seminar a few years ago and was very impressed, but it is expensive and no lt version that I know about. The advantage is it is not Autodesk.

  3. ArchiCad Does have an LT version. It lacks some of the desired functionality of full ArchiCad, however, similar to how Revit LT lacks all the bells & whistles of Revit. I used to own ArchiCad, way back in about 1988 or so, when it first came out. I struggled with it, with no training, having spent a huge bunch on cash on it and a Mac computer. However, all the contracts with the Airport Authority and local School Boards and others demanded AutoCad, so I dumped ArchiCad as a tax writeoff. ArchiCad (full version is, I believe, around $4,700+/-. I think their LT version is perhaps around $1,500+/- (not sure about that). But ArchiCad is not intuitive and does not work the way AutoDesk products do. I had a huge problems forgetting ArchiCad methods when I was learning AutoCad. And don’t kid yourself; ArchiCad is Hard to learn. I think if I was going to leap off the cliff, I’d do it with Revit or Revit LT, but keep my old version of AutoCad AND get AutoCad 2013LT, so that I could keep doing 2d, while I was learning Revit. There are lots of Revit learning videos, even on YouTube and other sources of educational DVDs, but I would not be unrealistic. I would dedicate at least 2 hours a day to learning some small feature of Revit, so that perhaps in a few weeks or months I might try to create a house for myself (not a client) and see how much I do or don’t know. ANY 3D/BIM software will be difficult. I have viewed about 20 YouTube Revit tutorial videos over the weekend and it seems logical and somewhat intuitive, but that’s because the teach knows what he’s doing. I will later go back and painstakingly document each and every mouse move, menu choice and keystroke in cookbook fashion and put these notes into a notebook that I can use as I start doing projects, and hopefully over time, like AutoCad, I will one day not need to refer to the notes so much. Do what is right for you. I really do not know what is the best!

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